Arctic peatlands may release potent greenhouse gas as permafrost thaws

From ABC Science, 30 May 2017:

Arctic peatlands may become a substantial source of a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide when they thaw, a new study suggests.

The study by a team of Scandinavian scientists indicated that thawing permafrost could release nitrous oxide (N2O) — also known as ‘laughing gas’ — under increasing temperatures.

Based on an analysis of frozen peat cores exposed to warming conditions in the laboratory, they estimated nitrous oxide emissions could occur from surfaces covering almost one-fourth of the entire Arctic.

The highest emissions, from bare peat samples, were on a par with tropical forest soils — the largest known natural source of nitrous oxide — they reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more.

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